A New CLIR Publication: “The Chinese Archive: A Pocket Manual”
Breaking new ground the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) proudly announces the release of The Chinese Archive: A Pocket Manual by co-authors, Yasser Ali Nasser and Matthew Wong Foreman. This pioneering guide serves as a beacon, illuminating the current archival crisis in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) while offering invaluable, pragmatic advice to budding scholars navigating a tumultuous era of global academic transformation. The Chinese Archive: A Pocket Manual is a key addition to the 2023 Pocket Burgundy series published by CLIR.
In the late 2010s, visionary authors Nasser and Wong Foreman, Ph.D. candidates and authorities in modern Chinese history, recognized the tightening grip of archival restrictions imposed by the Chinese government, cloaked under the pretext of national security. These restrictions, encompassing the withholding of archival material, digital collection redactions, and severe limitations on access and duplication, sent shockwaves across the archival community. It starkly underscored extensive state censorship and a concerning trend of sanitizing historical records.
“We both entered grad school to study modern Chinese history. We didn’t quite realize it at the time, but access to archives in mainland China had already begun to profoundly change, just as we were starting serious research for our respective projects,” recounted Yasser. “Many of those changes began to accelerate by the end of the 2010s, and, with word of more changes happening during COVID, we thought that it would be worth exploring what those changes have meant for scholars just starting out their careers.”
“We wrote The Chinese Archive with graduate students in mind. Many of our senior colleagues will be very familiarwith most of the strategies, preparations, and institutions we describe here, though some of the particulars have changed over the last few years,” said Wong Foreman. “But for students just beginning their careers – particularly students at institutions without access to some of the same resources that we have been fortunate to use – we think that having a single, beginner’s guide that collates and builds on advice from various sources across the field will be of value.”
The Chinese Archive: A Pocket Manual stands as a pivotal component of the CLIR Pocket Burgundy series, showcasing succinct publications addressing a spectrum of subjects within the information and cultural heritage community.
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Direct to Full Text: The Chinese Archive: A Pocket Manual
43 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.